Congress Candidate Geniben Thakor Raises ₹26 Lakh In Crowd-Funding Blitz For Lok Sabha Run In Banaskantha

Congress Candidate Geniben Thakor Raises ₹26 Lakh In Crowd-Funding Blitz For Lok Sabha Run In Banaskantha

In the last fortnight alone, Thakor has garnered an impressive Rs 25 lakh in cash and Rs 1 lakh through online transfers, all through crowdfunding efforts within her constituency

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Saturday, April 20, 2024, 12:18 PM IST
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The upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat are witnessing a unique experiment in political funding. Contrary to the notion that political campaigns are solely bankrolled by wealthy candidates or established parties, a wave of grassroots support has emerged, spearheaded by Congress candidates like Geniben Thakor from the Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat. In the last fortnight alone, Thakor has garnered an impressive Rs 25 lakh in cash and Rs 1 lakh through online transfers, all through crowdfunding efforts within her constituency.

The trend is not isolated to Thakor alone; other Congress contenders, including Ramji Thakor, Ritvik Makwana, and Lalit Vasoya, are also pioneering this novel approach to campaign financing. These candidates have taken to public meetings and roadshows, where they actively engage with voters and solicit contributions. Embracing modern technology, they have made their UPI and QR codes publicly accessible, facilitating online donations alongside traditional cash contributions.

More about the campaign strategy

One notable aspect of this campaign strategy is the emphasis on grassroots engagement. Rather than extravagant stages and grandiose displays, candidates like Geniben Thakor opt for intimate interactions with voters, often eschewing formalities in favor of direct engagement through loudspeakers and personal conversations.

Geniben Thakor sheds light on the roots of this crowdfunding phenomenon, revealing that it's not a recent development but rather a continuation of a practice initiated during the 2017 elections. Back then, she relied entirely on contributions from the people, who generously covered all campaign expenses, including those incurred by voters traveling from outside the constituency. This tradition has persisted, with supporters pooling resources to sponsor campaign essentials like venues, loudspeakers, and refreshments.

Gujarat: a testing ground

Reflecting on the overwhelming support from her constituents, Thakor expresses gratitude for the community-driven approach to campaign financing. She emphasizes that every aspect of the campaign, from the provision of infrastructure to daily expenses, is shouldered by the people themselves. The collaborative spirit extends to decision-making, with leaders and constituents collectively determining the amount to be contributed during pre-meeting gatherings.

Thakor's experience highlights a significant shift in political dynamics, where financial support isn't monopolized by the affluent but rather distributed among the community. This grassroots funding model not only democratizes the electoral process but also fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among voters.

As Gujarat becomes a testing ground for innovative political strategies, the rise of crowdfunding in election campaigns heralds a new era of participatory democracy. With candidates like Geniben Thakor leading the charge, the landscape of Indian politics is evolving, empowering ordinary citizens to shape the future of governance through their collective contributions.

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